YouTube has been hit on all sides in its attempts to start a music subscription service that rivals Pandora and Spotify — usually it’s NMR saying, “Where the hell is this music service, YouTube?” But now, indie music labels are getting in on the act.
Several independent music labels being represented by WIN — the Worldwide Independent Network — state that YouTube has approached them with strong arm tactics such as threatening that if they don’t sign, all their music videos will be blocked on YouTube. Additionally YouTube is passing a boilerplate contract for all independents, big and small.
“Our members are small businesses who rely on a variety of income streams to invest in new talent. They are being told by one of the largest companies in the world to accept terms that are out of step with the marketplace for streaming,” said WIN chief executive Alison Wenham in a release.
“We believe, as such, that these actions are unnecessary and indefensible, not to mention commercially questionable and potentially damaging to YouTube itself, given the harm likely to result from this approach.”
A YouTube spokesman said, “YouTube provides a global platform for artists to connect with fans and generate revenue for their music. We have successful deals in place with hundreds of independent and major labels around the world, however we don’t comment on ongoing negotiations.” I feel compelled to add that YouTube didn’t bully me into saying this.
Oh YouTube. We don’t want to believe this is true … but if it is, shame on you. How would you feel if someone took your lunch money or made fun of you for wearing a denim t-shirt after 1986? Also, that same anonymous YouTube spokesman came to the defense of denim t-shirts — so, well, they seem a-okay in my book.
But for OTHER companies who might be out there bullying indie companies over music subscription services:
We’re not saying you’re bullying others because you don’t like yourself, but, well, maybe it’s time to spend some time figuring out what kind of company you want to be in this world. Good companies don’t bully, they help.
Share this article so that we can all stand up to a bully somewhere.
Here are more bullies: